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Europa League – Rennes A – KO 17:55, BT Sport

Europa League, News

After being cheated out of all three points on Saturday lunchtime, we move back to Europa League action this week with a short hop to Rennes.

This tie was the one that was switched so we didn’t clash with Chelsea on the night, you know the week after we played at home v Bournemouth, while Chelsea played Spurs and Man United visited West Ham in the league on the same night. Anyway, think doing things this way is better as we get to play at home second, so every cloud…

Why we can win the Europa League…

Unai Emery looks to have taken a full squad to Rennes, so can rotate as he sees fit with one eye on our game on Sunday against Man United. This game for me is bigger than the Spurs game in terms of a top four spot.

If United beat us, and Spurs cheat their way to another win at Southampton, this would leave us with a mountain to climb, back to seven points behind Spurs and four behind United with just 8 games left, it’s the true definition of both a six-pointer AND a must win. Should we manage to halt the Ole-Mobile, we could find ourselves just 1 point behind Spurs, and leapfrog United into 5th spot two points AHEAD of United, and with Spur’s tricky run-in, things would be looking a lot brighter.

So… it’s all to play for this weekend…

Anyway, back to the Europa, Alexandre Lacazette is banned for both legs of this tie after his rogue elbow in Borisov, so Eddie Nketiah has been selected and could feature, probably from the bench, while Aubameyang will be keen to get back to action and bury the memory of tha- nah, can’t say it…

Torriera has been banned for three matches in the Premier League, so will definitely play in this one, his red card against Spurs appeal upheld, meaning he misses our next three league games, including United.

It wouldn’t be a match preview without a mention of those long term absentees, Welbeck (head), Bellerin (shoulder) and Rob Holding (knee and toe).

The game kicks off in France at 17:55, and will be shown on BT Sport and lets be honest, it is our only chance of winning anything this season, so fully expect Emery to go for it, even with the shadow of the six-point United game this weekend looming large.

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